Multiple fast-moving wildfires are ongoing in Queensland as of Sunday, November 10. A state of emergency was declared in 42 local government areas on Saturday, November 9, as firefighters continue to try to contain the blazes. The worst hit areas include the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, particularly Noosa where an estimated 9000 people were forced to evacuate. Evacuation orders have also been issued in Tarome, Cobraball, and Thornton. Emergency officials have warned that hot, dry winds are expected to continue in the region through Wednesday, November 13, which will increase the risk of the fires spreading and impact containment efforts.
Further spread of the fires is expected over the coming days as weather conditions across Queensland remain hot, dry, and windy. A heightened security presence, road closures, and power outages are to be expected in the vicinity of the wildfires. Up-to-date information on the fire can be found on the Queensland Rural Fire Service (RFS) website here.
Wildfires are an annual event in Australia between December and February; however, the authorities have been on high alert since September 2015 over unseasonably warm temperatures, prompting scientists to speculate that climate change could be extending and increasing the intensity of the fire season.
Individuals present in Queensland are advised to keep abreast of warnings and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities, notably evacuation orders. As high temperatures are expected in the near-term, individuals are also advised to remain hydrated and minimize outdoor activities. Furthermore, individuals should limit outdoor activities until the situation normalizes and those with chronic respiratory illnesses should exercise increased caution; seek medical attention if experiencing breathing difficulties or other health concerns.
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